Welcome to Friesland

Frieslanders are a staunchly self-reliant bunch, with their own language proudly emblazoned on road signs. Here they didn't just have to build dykes to protect their land; they had to build the land as well. Their unique mudflats, laced into the Waddenzee (Wadden Sea), are on Unesco's world treasures list, and the slender islands across this body of water are the country's hottest summertime destination, with forest, dunes and beaches threaded with cycling paths.

Piercing the province's centre is its beguiling, canal-ringed capital Leeuwarden, a European City of Culture in 2018 with a dynamic vibe to match. Elsewhere, craggy fishing villages and port towns such as Hindeloopen and Harlingen charm with 16th-century architecture and a contagious, laid-back pace unchanged for centuries.

Top experiences in Friesland

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Friesland activities

$56.52 Cultural & Theme Tours

Zuiderzee Museum plus Train and Ferry Tickets from Amsterdam

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen, North Holland ProvinceOutdoor Museum The Museum ferry carries you across the IJsselmeer to the Outdoor Museum where you can take a walk through history. The open-air section covers 15 acres and accommodates authentic buildings from the former Zuiderzee region, such as a church, a fish-curing shed, a mill, a cheese warehouse, shops and dwelling houses from the surrounding fishing villages. You can help craftspeople in the Marker harbour making nets, produce a rope at the rope-maker’s workplace, give the housemaid a hand, or enter into a conversation with the ‘inhabitants’ from the former island of Urk. A number of presentations offer a modern interpretation of traditional crafts, materials and themes. Indoor Museum The Indoor Museum is the treasure chamber of the Zuiderzee. Temporary exhibitions display the rich collection of the Museum. For example the exhibition Journey around the Zuiderzee presents highlights of the collection and personal stories of life in villages around the former Zuiderzee. Join the Journey round the Zuiderzee and find out what life by this former inland sea was like. The journey will take you from Enkhuizen along the Afsluitdijk and the Wadden Islands to places in Friesland and after that back to North Holland, where you will visit Marken and Volendam.The Indoor Museum also has the largest collection of wooden ships in the Netherlands. These historical wooden ships belong to the most extraordinary items in the Museum’s collection. With history, photography, traditional costume, design and an attractive and educational family exhibition, the Indoor Museum offers something for everyone. Duration: 3 hours

$114.17 Cultural & Theme Tours

Leeuwarden City Tour

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productPass By: Historische binnenstad Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, Friesland ProvinceWe will show you the historic inner city of Leeuwarden

$33.11 Private & Custom Tours

Leeuwarden Private Guided Tour and Leaning Tower Oldenhove

At a time of your choosing, meet your private guide at your hotel or the Leeuwarden train station and set off at a relaxing pace to explore the capital city of the Dutch province of Friesland. With just your group and your local guide, enjoy the flexibility to customize this walking tour to your liking. As you wander through the city's historic streets, step back in time: Leeuwarden is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with remains of houses dating back to the 2nd century.Spend time exploring the colorful mixture of shopping areas, cultural highlights, and vibrant nightlife. Marvel at some of Leeuwarden's historical monuments (there are more than 600!) as you wander through the historic city center with your guide. The tour concludes with a short visit to the Oldehove, an unfinished church tower in the medieval city center that leans more than the tower of Pisa in Italy. Before bidding farewell to your guide, get insider’s tips about local restaurants, shops, attractions, activities, public transport, and more.

$115.80 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Giethoorn and Enclosing Dike Day Tour

Visit: Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, North Holland ProvinceVisit the tiny village of Giethoorn, aptly named “the Little Venice of the Netherlands” on this picturesque full day tour. Famous for its incredibly tranquil atmosphere, the village, located on the border with Germany, offers the ultimate getaway from the noise of the city. Here you will find no roads and no cars — just picturesque antique farmhouses, parks and beautiful canals. Roam the the fantastical setting of the countryside and find yourself at the Enclosing Dike, a 32km long dike connecting North Holland and Friesland. Capture the moment and enjoy the serene ambiance unlike any other. The primary method of moving around the village is by taking a boat: hop on one and two are the canals of Giethoorn for a full tour of the village. Have some free time to explore: hunt for souvenirs, take plenty of photos and dine at one of the many village restaurant with stunning views of the canal.

$192.96 Cultural & Theme Tours

UNESCO World Heritage VIP Tour

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productPass By: Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder), North Holland ProvinceThe 1st UNESCO World Heritage site of our tour is the famous Beemster Polder. Your guide will tell you all about this area while you drive through polders with stunning views, beautiful farm houses and meadows full of cows. Pass By: Defence Line of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, North Holland ProvinceThe 2nd UNESCO World Heritage site of our tour is the Defence line of Amsterdam. Check out some of the beautifull fortifications around the city of Amsterdam. Stop At: Vlietermonument, Den Oever, North Holland ProvinceThe world famous Afsluitdijk is a real must see when you are visiting the Netherlands. You can walk across the dike, climb the monument and learn about its significance for the Dutch. Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Het Friese Museumdorp, Allingawier, Friesland ProvinceThis open air museum village is one of the highlights of your tour. You will step back in time in this authentic village. It's a real hidden treasure in the area so no crowds, no waiting in line, and you will meet real villagers. Step into an old farmhouse, meet the blacksmith learn about live in the former days. In the middle of the meadows there is a playground for children so there is something for everyone.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Museum Hindeloopen, Hindeloopen, Friesland ProvinceHindeloopen is 1 of the famous 11 cities of Friesland. It is famous for its stylish costumes, the typical Hindeloopen painting, characteristic facades, likhúsjes, many wooden bridges and of course the Eleven City Tour. Our local guide will show you around in this picturesque city. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal, Lemmer, Friesland ProvinceThe Woudagemaal, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is the biggest steam pumping station in the world which is still being operated. Some call it a steam cathedral because of its beautiful architecture and style. But next to its beauty is it significance for the Netherlands that you will find out about. One of the local operators will show you all the secrets of this beautiful hidden treasure. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Museum Schokland, Emmeloord, Flevoland ProvinceSchokland is a former island in a former sea. Lots of culture and heritage is hidden at this beautiful place. Look out over the former sea bed and have a local guide show you around on the former island. Our last UNESCO World Heritage stop of the day. Duration: 45 minutes

$99.90 Day Trips & Excursions

Half day seal safari from Amsterdam at UNESCO site Waddensea

Departure by coach from Amsterdam city center at the appointed time.Departure address: De Ruijterkade Oost, at the River Cruises Docks. It’s in the center of Amsterdam, right behind the Central Train Station!  Take the IJ exit of the Central Station and turn right. The River Cruises Docks are located on your left after approximately 750 meters.  A host from Dutch Seal Tours will be there to welcome you.We will leave Amsterdam by luxurious coach, heading North and will drive through the beautiful Dutch countryside: land claimed from the sea, past farms, villages and windmills. After about one hour we will arrive in the harbor and we will board our ship that takes us onto the Waddensea. It is a refuge for a huge number of animals, including seals and birds. It´s unique character of inter-tidal sands and mud flats makes the Waddensea a calm sea with hardly any risk of uncomfortable swell.We will sail for 2 to 2,5 hours, looking for seals and other animals while enjoying the wilderness of this amazing  UNESCO heritage site.We offer you two drinks and a snack while we sail the Waddensea. On the bus you can purchase a selection of snacks, sandwiches and drinks, cash only please!Once back in the harbor we will take you to the historic fisherman’s town Harlingen on the Waddensea coast. You will have about 1 hour to wander, shop, eat or relax in this beautiful historic town!On our way back to Amsterdam we will stop at the famous enclosing dike between Noord-Holland and Friesland, which protects the low country against flooding. We will have some time to take pictures and see the monument.After an exciting day, our coach will take you back to Amsterdam.

Friesland in detail